Lieux de memoire: Bulgaria and Serbia

Evgenia Ivanova.

The text is based on the comparison between two representative sociological surveys conducted in Bulgaria and Serbia in the period May-June 2010. The Bulgarian survey is a joint project of the New Bulgarian University and the American University in Bulgaria, and the Serbian was carried out by the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights. On the face of it Bulgarians and Serbians have similar models of choosing a memory: absolute focusing on the national topoi, priority on the political and revolutionary topoi at the expense of the cultural, emphasis on the processes of nation formation. Similar are the sources of memory generation – predominantly at school. However, there are significant differences: domination of the heroic related memory in Bulgaria and the traumatic memory in Serbia; comparatively even distribution of the topoi related to chronology in Serbia and their concentration on the struggles for national liberation in Bulgaria; clearly expressed priority on the national (according to the concept of civic nation) in Bulgaria and the ethnocentric in Serbia.
The Bulgarian survey shows an expressed interest in the memory of minority communities – with the purpose of monitoring the degree of their integration in the macro-society.